Thursday, August 16, 2007

Finally My Badwater x 2 story/dreaming :)


In 2006 I successfully accomplished the Badwater double and this was a wonderful dream come true.

It was difficult when I developed a fever and had to sit out of the official race for a long time in order to feel better and get my act together. :) Once I felt better I was running and walking just as I dreamed I would.

Having to wait a very long time to get the permits to climb Mt. Whitney (the first time) left us to have to start the climb in the early evening which would lead us to climb at night time. The night came and with it came the cold and to me it was bitter cold. My head started to hurt, my body was shaking from the inside out and I just had a bad feeling that I was about to freeze! We were 2 miles from the summit. The choice was made (by me) that I needed to go back down the mountain. Marshall and Mike (crew) were just amazing in helping me down the mountain. The feelings of failure did not last long. I had made the only choice I could for myself and safety is first! Once back down the mountain, my mind was running all over the place with what to do. How can we continue to feel successful and complete this dream! Marshall and Bob (both crew) simply left me with the only choice, the right climb the mountain again. You can't claim to run the Badwater double and not touch the summit of Mt. Whitney. Those of you who have never climbed Mt. Whitney must know that this is no small undertaking after you have attempted it once and failed. I failed due to feeling extreme cold and my body was just not going to allow me to carry on. We waited another day to get new permits to climb Whitney and the set off again, this time with Marshall, Jacki and George.

It was an also an absolutely perfect beautiful day, God granted us a beautiful day and a beautiful summit of Mt. Whitney. Needless to say I was over the top with emotion...we were half way.

Once we got off Mt. Whitney, about 15 hours later, I wanted to run the 12 miles down the portal road back into Lone Pine to our good friends' Ben and Denise Jones home. (Denise is the blister queen and wonderful at taking care of people and feet.) This is where the crew all were set up and waiting and this is where my confidence was strong that we would be successful and that God would allow me another crossing of Death Valley.

The 2nd part of the Double was just as the first, full of the great the good and the ugly but mentally it was better. I did not feel sick and guess what? I went back faster than I did in the official race, a true negative split. :) The feeling of gratitude for being granted my dream, the $300,000 raised for AIDS orphans, and the many miles with my wonderful crew was a bit overwhelming.


What I learned was this: Life is about Love...LOVE and then LOVE...Give, give, give until it hurts and when it hurts keep on giving. Life is about sharing, caring and life is about simplicity.

All the stuff we have, all the things we have...what does any of this mean without love, simplicity and the simple gratitude of having the gift of get up each morning. To be thankful for all and for everything.

We did it, I did it, we all were successful. I told Chris Kostman the RD of Badwater race, at the end of my race (2006) that if he got an entry form from me in the mail for the 2007 race to tear it up. I told him and I told Marshall that I felt I have learned everything that I needed to learn in Death Valley and that I did not need to run it again...well.......................


For 2 months after the completion of the 2006 double I was very emotional. I cried often. I felt elated beyond words and God continued to give me more and more. I spoke to my dear friend Sister Marybeth and told her my next dream and asked her to pray about it for me. She wrote me an email and said, "YES LISA, I have prayed about this next dream for you and you are to do it and you are to start in May of 2008." She also, at the same time, told me that she prayed God would allow me to live to be at least 100 and that my legs would continue to carry me many miles because we have so much work to do! I spoke to my friend Frank McKinney and he said, "In order to raise more money you need to think of doing something bigger than the double," and little did he know I already had a plan. :)

The 2007 Badwater double is not the big dream, but part of the process of getting there. I really yearned for the desert. I yearned to go back to the simple way of life, to feel that love and elation I felt in Death Valley during the 2006 double. I wanted to go back and do the double with only climbing Mt. Whitney once, not twice, and see if I could move faster. My training was very, very different. I felt fitter and faster this year (2007).


I had a smaller crew and many things lead me to hit the send button to enter the Badwater race again. I use the word "yearn"' because I can't find a better word to describe how I feel about the desert, Badwater, and all that is means to me personally. The truth is, I have not learned all I need to learn and I hope I never do.

The official race this year was going better than ever, I was happy and then the ball dropped. My stomach went at 71 miles.

I was running at a happy pace and never over 135 heart rate. I spent a great deal of time running with my great friend Greg Pressler. Lisa Bliss and I were back and forth for hours on end. She is so darn tough and I am so thrilled for her and her 1st place women in the race!

My stomach. At the top of Father Crowley, I started having to pee every 5-10 min. It was not a little pee. It was a cup at a time. This went on all night and it went on all the way to the finish line. Each time I would start to run I had to pee. This has happened before, but only at night. This continued all day long. I felt drained and my body would not hold onto the calories I was trying to give it. This is still a mystery to me and when Lisa Bliss (Dr. Lisa) gets a few moments I would love to talk to her about it. God bless her crew. They saw my butt one too many times on the course, but promised they did not take any photos. :)

It was my choice to stake out and drive to Lone Pine where we spent 4 hours at the hotel. I took a shower, and just lied flat so my stomach could calm down. Once back on the road I felt great and we were moving fast. Once I hit the portal road and darkness came again so did the non-stop peeing and I could not keep my head up from lack of calories as hard as I tried...7 hours for 12 miles...HA!!! My good friend Marshall Ulrich passed me on the portal road with 2 miles left to go, this was his 20th crossing on Death Valley. Having heard what he had gone through during the first part of his race I was happy to see him and thrilled to watch him power walk like a champ to the finish line. What a joy to have he and his wife Heather be the ones to greet me and my crew for my finish of the race!

Needless to say, I don't wear a watch when I race so I had NO idea what my finish time would be. Chris Kostman (RD) said, 41:52, and I about fell on the ground. I could not believe after all that I had broken 48 hours. My first goal to finish in 60 hours, 2nd 48 hours, 3rd top 5 for the women. The real goal, fun and safety first.

Time to head up Whitney, but not a chance the storms are over the mountain. We had to wait all day. I kept telling myself to be patient that this is God's plan not mine.


Sky clears and we head off at the same time we left last year. (Crew: Scott, Mike, Laurie) I felt great and then night time came, the peeing came again and the extreme cold about 2 miles from the summit! Not again, not again, I thought to myself. I asked my crew if we could rest and get in our sleeping bags, but I was the only one with a sleeping bag. My mind was racing, my head was starting to hurt and that uncontrollable shaking from the cold was about to take over again. I said a silent prayer to myself and I said, "Let's go back down. I am going to freeze and I know that with 2 miles left to go it is going to only get colder and colder, and with this comes ice."

Safety first, not just for me, but for my 3 friends on the mountain with me too. I call this wisdom. I call this taking responsibility and being smart. I cried for about 1 minute to myself knowing it was over and that I was not willing to try again the next day. When I cried, I prayed and said, "I don't want to throw in the towel. I feel too good. My legs don't even hurt for goodness sake." I asked for an answer, in the spirit of the fundraising, how could we continue on. The relay hit me head on, a team relay where my crew of 6 amazing people could have a chance to run parts of the Badwater course and experience what I did and feel the joy.


We got off the mountain and it took me some time to make my mind up 100% that we were not going back up Mt. Whitney. This would have caused us to have to change plane tickets and do everything exactly the way we did it last year. I did not need to do it again this way. I spoke to my chief crew, Marie Boyd (who has already offered to be on my crew for next year :) ) and told her my thought about the relay. Her response was, "OK, let's get the others together and tell them the plan." She was more thrilled about this than I was!

We got the other 5 together and sat by the pool for 30 min. and talked about this. I have to tell you the fire and light in these people's eyes were something I have never seen. It was like they had been given a million dollars each. Within 2 hours George and Scott were running down the portal road back to the hotel and off we went to form the "so not normal relay". I was the crew and driver as long as I could stay awake. I had to help take care of all of them the way they cared for me. It was one of the most amazing journeys of my life.


They all set time goals for how long it would take to reach Badwater and the person who won would gain a free entry into the Teton 100 which is Sept. 1st! 27 hours! Scott Morgan won and you bet, he will be here to run the 100. In the spirit of the dream, the goal, the fundraising, these 6 people made the dream even grander than I ever knew it was possible to be. They took turns running, they tagged water bottles, they bonded and they gave and gave until we reached the finish line arm and arm just the way I dreamed it.

But the ending was different. This was not about me running 300 miles. This was about giving, sharing, loving, simplicity, teaching and me watching these 6 people learn what I learned last year. I have also learned that I should and never will again climb at night. I am not meant for the cold weather, my body does not enjoy the cold even with all the right clothing on.

This year I set up to raise money for another cause that became close to my heart, the MPD foundation. I knew that in 2008 I would be doing a very large fundraising event for the kids and felt really called to run for the MPD foundation. We may not have raised the amount of money for the goal we have set (yet) but we were able to raise a great deal of awareness about the MPD foundation which is a great feeling. It is not too late to make a donation!


You see, the learning will never stop, the growing will continue. Change is inevitable, but the one thing that will always remain constant is love, true love. In the end, what I learned from my need to go back and do the double again was something I did not truly grasp before, something that I already have right here at home with Jay and my 2 beautiful children. What I learned was this: Life is about Love...LOVE, and then LOVE...Then give, give, give until it hurts and when it hurts keep on giving. Life is about sharing, caring, and life is about simplicity.

All the stuff we have, all the things we have...what does any of this mean without love, simplicity and the simple gratitude of having the gift of life, to get up each morning, to be thankful for all and for everything. We can all have this each and everyday if we just stop, look and listen. Live in the present and in the moment. Clear your mind of negative thoughts and surround yourself with loving people.


I thank both of my crews for both Badwater doubles from the bottom to the top. I would like to thank Nilsa McKinney for coming on board last year and Cathy Cramer for coming on board this year to help crew the 2nd half, what a joy you both are in our life! Thank you to my family for always putting up with me and Colleen Woods for all her support with the blog. Thank you to Shannon who does my web site for her donating her time for the fundraising. Thank you to Barb Batchen who helped look after my children. Without all of you none of this would have been possible.

I would like to thank Chris Kostman, the race director of Badwater 135. This was my 9th time running the race and my 8th official finish. My goal is to run 10 Badwater races, God willing. I thank Chris for all the time, effort and energy that he has put into this race over the years and for putting on one of the best races in the World. This race has come so far and each year it gets better and better and each year the energy surrounding the race becomes more alive!

The Badwater double is not an official race. I do have to say that the past 2 years I feel that I have missed out on a large part of the true meaning of the Badwater race and what it means to me. My doing the BW double left me missing the post race awards, the party, and the socialization with the many other runners, families, crews and friends that I look forward to seeing each year. This year I felt stress around my race and feel that if I ever do the double again it will not be right after the official race or have anything to do with the official race. I sit back and imagine the quiet, the simple desert, alone with a few friends...this is a much different experience than running the race and taking on the full meaning of what the race means to me. I want to see all get their belt buckles and be there next year clapping for each and everyone who has completed the Badwater 9th!

You can go and check out my blog for many wonderful stories and updates on my blog.


Before the next "big dream" I have a few races that I will take part in; the Furnace Creek 508 bike race, to do my best to accomplish the Death Valley Cup. To be honest I feel better running 508 miles but I am looking forward to this new challenge. Perhaps a 24 hour race in Nov., RR 100 in Feb., Marathon des Sables in March.

So...what's next? What did Sister Marybeth pray about 1 year ago and say, "YES LISA, YOU ARE TO DO THIS?......RUN ACROSS AMERICA!!!" LET THE JOURNEY BEGIN. Continue to read my blog and and check our website..The RAA/Trans Con :) The team is set, the goals have been made, the course has been confirmed and now...let the training begin!



Anonymous said...

lisa thats a great story i enjoyed reading every word of it. iam sooo proud of you .you are the greatest. i know we do no talk much but i think of you everyday and pray for you and the batchen family and your family every day .. i love you all with all my heart. iam doing great going to church and loving God . i am so blessed . i love you all.

Anonymous said...

great story lisa!! very really helps me to read stories like this. need anymore crew for next year? sign me up!!!!
michael evans

Anonymous said...

Amazing journey. thank you for sharing that with us. I am looking forward to your next adventure and hope to see the course and crew news soon!! i am so happy for you.

Olga said...

"What I learned was this: Life is about Love...LOVE, and then LOVE...Then give, give, give until it hurts and when it hurts keep on giving. Life is about sharing, caring, and life is about simplicity.
All the stuff we have, all the things we have...what does any of this mean without love, simplicity and the simple gratitude of having the gift of life, to get up each morning, to be thankful for all and for everything. We can all have this each and everyday if we just stop, look and listen. Live in the present and in the moment. Clear your mind of negative thoughts and surround yourself with loving people."

These were my favorite parts in the whole story. I already expressed many times my feelings about your journey and about relay, but the true lessons we learn you pointed out precisely on tim. Thank you...

And YAY for cross-America!

Anonymous said...


You've touched many with your words and your actions!!!

Blessings to you and your family,

Ed Mafoud

Michele Jensen said...

Lisa -
Thanks so much for sharing your story - it made me emotional!! It is very inspiring, and we all take a lot from this incredible achievement!

Unknown said...


Thanks for taking the time to put your story and feelings into words. It's so inspiring to read about your Badwater journey!

:) Dusty

Anonymous said...

it is about time we have this story from you. i can't deal with the heat the way you can't deal with the cold. i have no idea how you do this or what you do at all. i have 1 baby and i can't seem t find the balance to fit it all in.
thanks for trying to help me with this. you can sign me up to run with you but it might only be a mile or so. any support i can help you with, just ask.
inspiring is not even the word, not sure i can find a word to describe what i feel you give to me and to the rest of us.

Anonymous said...

Wow Lisa,

Thank you for sharing your story with me. I'm keeping it so I can read it again. Thank you for always being so positive and great. I'm proud of you and proud to be included in your wonderful messages.

thank you for putting another smile on my face!

Anonymous said...

your awesome lisa,
you hit nail on the head in so many ways. in life, you can't always get what you want no matter how hard you try. sometimes god has a different plan. but to keep your wisdom and make the right choices are far more valuable in the long run than any accomplishment, i think. i think you are awesome. you always make the right decisions. you have more determination in your small pinky than anyone. i admire that!
so is the badwater double out? what about doing the first leg from mt. whitney to badwater before the race, then do the race. i think that way would be easier. easier is a very relative term here. but what do i know. i do know that i'm a supporter of any of your dreams! keep on keepin on, right. life's to short, and now that god's giving you a few extra years on your life. well you have alot of time! and you love this stuff.
so disappointed that i couldn't help this time. i really felt bad about it, and i can't help but think that there could have been something i could have done.
i would love to run california. i would love to be as big a part of the run across the usa as possible. ill definitely let you know how much time i can put in.
mike artino

Anonymous said...

Nicely done - I hope you get this published somewhere so even more people will get to read it.

Next year's run will be tremendous in a million different ways, in fact I'm even looking forward to it also. I will get involved at some point, maybe even run with you across Ohio.

You could hook up with Nike+Apple - put the chip in your shoe, record the whole thing to your iPod, upload it and let people follow along on iTunes with a podcast. Great fun for everyone...


Anonymous said...

Oh my God Lisa, that is beautiful. You are beautiful. Continue to carry God's message and making it real for everyday people.

Bob - said...

Amazing Journey Coach --thanks for sharing & putting it down on paper!!

God Bless

see u guys sooooooooooon!!!

Anonymous said...

Lisa, Fab story, loved seeing you at BW...what were those clear spots on your knees? Need any crew help...I know how to do that now? RR100?
Bob Van

Anonymous said...

I read your story-wow. It has been a long amazing journey hasn't it? So many lessons on so many levels. I'm just glad you are safe and healthy. It will be exciting to read about the RAA.

Much Love,

Anonymous said...

"Climb high, climb far; your goal the sky, your aim the stars"

Lisa, thank you for once again inspiring and guiding through your ability to dream big, to believe and follow your dreams, and for always having love in your heart.

Here's to touching the stars.

Much love,


Anonymous said...


You are astonishing and you light up everyone who knows you.
Keep up the great and important things you do.
Good luck in it all


Anonymous said...

I just read this blog post and cannot comprehend how you're able to face such adversity on your own. There are no words to describe this. I was thinking about how much you sacrifice in order to give. So I was wondering with all you have done for me, is there anything I can do for you? Do you need a pacer for a stint in your Run across America or are you going at it alone? I'm in debt to you, so if you need anything from my end please don't hesitate to ask.

Have to run for now. Hope this finds you well.....Brian

Anonymous said...

I was just checking out the videos on your blog! Fantastic! I was really moved by your section on “Lessons Confirmed”. It is so true! At the end of the day what truly matters is love and the people you choose to be with. Choose someone who is draining and you’ll be drained. Choose someone who is motivating and positive then you will also reflect and build on those traits!

I would love to challenge the corporations that get involved with your next dream to really contribute something to society! I have a program in place that will reward them for doing so as well as taking the lessons learned and apply them to their business initiatives. With your spirit and accomplishments showing truly that anything is possible – something very special could be created!! I’d love to chat more about this when you have time!

Cheers and congrats!!

Matt Camp

Anonymous said...

Hiya Lisa,


This is one incredible story…made possible by one incredible team! I just wish I could write words that have the same amount of strength as your actions!
I look forward to watching your progress as you run across the US! I always thought that a diagonal X-USA would be the coolest way to go! A trek through all the national parks??? Whatever route you choose will make for a great adventure!
Hiya!!! Ernie:)

Anonymous said...


Mark here from Florida! i am with you all the way across America USA the GREAT, I will do anything you need, just let me know... I can drive the all way. I would be my pleasure to endure this quest!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Hi Lisa, I loved your re-cap! You were born to be a leader and i learned so much from you on your journey accross the desert. See you at the Tetons~

Love, Leigh

Greg Pressler said...

Why would anyone be surprised by your goal of running across the USA? I've come to anticipate big goals...and big goals you, Lisa.

I share your excitement, even if I can't share the run with you (at least not next summer!).


Anonymous said...


Thanks so much for sharing this story. I guess there are several reasons why distance running has appealed to me so deeply. The connection between the physical and mental aspects of the sport are pretty clear—and really amazing. And I know that is a big part of the attraction for me. But your description here of the relationship between a runner and those around us (whether they are our crew, or family, or even the recipients of one’s volunteer efforts) was very special for me. I tend to run as an isolated, even isolating, activity. That’s why I was so blown away by Joe’s hospitality and his offer of unconditional friendship. I assumed that this was simply because we share something so unique, and this formed a natural and powerful bond. Well I’m beginning to understand that it goes way deeper. Your story illustrates that message beautifully. Thanks again, and take care.

Terry Madl

Anonymous said...


I read your account of the BW Double and there is so much there that I had to let it percolate before thinking about what to say.

Sometimes I think that when people read about your latest accomplishment they think, at least I do- “oh there’s Lisa doing something absolutely astounding again” and then we go back to the necessary day to day stuff.

Impressive to me, because honestly I would never have thought about it, you mentioned that the Double interfered with you being there for the post-race events. I’d probably be thinking about whether the cosmological constant exists or what the true meaning of dark energy is in the universe. (I got “A’s” in math but “F’s” in interpersonal relationships- “Ha Ha ”, just my laid back sense of humor).
It occurred to me that you really should step back and appreciate what you have accomplished and give yourself credit where credit is more than overdue!
Physiologically though it is impressive!

Best as always- Steve Wolk

Anonymous said...


Thanks for the inspiration.

It’s the temporary failures that add the humor to our stories; how we overcome them make them adventures.

Thanks again,

Joe Johnson

Anonymous said...


CONGRATS on another Badwater finish, and on your flexibility and the support of your crew in completing the "relay double."

The plan is... there is no plan :)

Best of luck with the RAA/Transcon in 2008, and with all of your other plans.


Lisa Smith-Batchen said...

Hi everyone! Thank you from the bottom of my heart for all your comments and emails about this blog.
I am very touched by all of you.
The past few days I have done my very best to try and take a rest from the computer:) I was able to get 8.5 hours on the bike with one very long 12 mile climb, 3 thunder storms and amazing head winds. The 508 bike race in Oct. is my next big event and it scares the pants off me. I feel so much more confident now that I felt miserable for many hours in the wind and rain.
To answer some questions. I will not be running the RAA/Trans Con alone..On Monday our presss release will go out. We also have some who will join us along the way. The route has been set. Look for all your questions to be answered about this in the Dreamchaser newsletter and on the blog. If you are not on our mailing list to get our newsletter just leave it here on the blog and we will see that you get it.
I am blessed, we all are blessed. The plans have been made and God is in the drivers seat!
Have a wonderful weekend.
Thanks and I hope to see you in the Tetons.

Anonymous said...

Wow. Wow! WOW!! What a wonderful story and what an incredible experience! Thank you so much for sharing this and letting us be a part of the DREAM. You have such an amazing perspective on life, learning, and our purpose here ... truly inspiring!


Anonymous said...

Hi there Lisa,

First off, congratulations on your feat in Death Valley. I was really laughing to myself as I can't even imagine trying to deal with the heat. Then when you were explaining how you were getting cold going up the mountain, I, that's where I'd start to feel better!!! I would have been lieing in the ditch about 2 miles from the start in that heat.

Great job and I love the fact that you were able to think through how to make things work out vs. just giving up. I find that the most inspiring of all!

Anonymous said...

lisa, you are a true inspiration to me . I am sitting here at home stressed out about my business. Reading your story put me at ease and took me to adifferent place emotionally. You have helped me see things differently.
thank you.
canrt wait to see you.

Joe G said...

Wow, thanks for putting all of your feelings into writing. While I knew parts of the story from email exchanges with you, I didn't know all that was going through your head; thank you for telling the story.
I knew about Race Across America, and really cannot wait for that to begin. As I told you several times this year, I want to be there with you when you get to this part of the country. I want to run right next to you. While I do not have the credentials you have, I want to be there for you.

Olga said...

Lisa, the newsletter came out - WOW, it IS real! So real, you can touch it...crazy too:) Congratulation on making the decision, and on picking a high goal to chase.

Anonymous said...

Hi Lisa,

Thank you so very much for sharing your beautiful and hard won insight into what it is all about….We drove through Lone Pine this summer on the way back from a family wedding in Tahoe just because we longed to see that beautiful, magical place for only a moment…..Wish I could have seen you run one of these last two summers, but I picture you in my mind and that is good enough for now…..I think I will see it firsthand one day soon…We could not agree more about the purpose of this life and our purpose and meaning here regarding love……..On to your next journey and adventure…….We will support you the best we can.

Anonymous said...


Just finished reading your story. What has always impressed me about you is your ability to adapt. This is driven by your contagious positive attitude towards life. It is reflected in who you are. In my office I have posted the following from Charles Swindell…

“The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill, it will make or break a company…a church…a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude…I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react.”

The conditions and situations often change, but your attitude remains consistent. Thanks for sharing!